Joel Thomas Hynes is the celebrated author of the novels Down to the Dirt and Right Away Monday, and the stage plays The Devil You Don’t Know, (co-authored w/S. White) Say Nothing Saw Wood, Broken Accidents and Incinerator Road (for young adults). He was the recent recipient of the 2010 Cuffer Prize, the Lawrence Jackson Writing Award, and in 2008 was named the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council’s Artist of the Year.
Reading now: How Late it Was, How Late by James Kelman. I read it at least once or twice a year.
Next in line: The War Against Cliché by Martin Amis. I usually alternate between fiction and non-fiction, and I generally stay close to UK and Irish lit these days.
A book everyone should read: Don Quixote by Cervantes. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. Ask the Dust by John Fante. Anything by J.T. Hynes.
Three desert island titles: Private Nurse by Anonymous. It’s the smuttiest book ever written, and it’s probably illegal. One of Shaunessy Bishop-Stall’s books, just to get a good fire going. Maybe a good thick Bukowski anthology, to remind me that humanity is nothing to go getting lonesome over.
Character you’d like in your life: Cynthia Pitt from David Adams Richards Mercy Among the Children. Just for one night.
Guilty pleasure: Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. And I guess there’s a couple of self-help books I shouldn’t mention.
Shameless plug: I recently attended a reading in St. John’s by an Irish fella named Dave Lordan. I don’t often get riled up at a reading, but this guy was fantastic. Very performance based, full of energy, and he had things to say. I bought his book Invitation to a Sacrifice and came home and read it cover to cover and fucking loved it.
One that reminds you of home: Home is a complex word for me.
One that got left behind: A Goat’s Song by Dermot Healy. It has its diehard, loyal readers, but hasn’t been propped up the way you would expect. But so goes the industry. A brilliant, brilliant novel. Matter of fact, anything you can get your hands on by Dermot is well worth the hunt. He’s got books of poetry, short stories, three novels, plays and a beautiful memoir called The Bend for Home.
A book you wish you had written: Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.